The First Question You Should Ask When Considering A Change

We continually hear that organisations need to change and adapt.

Often organisations, particularly large organisations have a lot of change initiatives going on.

Some will get started and finished.

A high proportion will fall into what I call the incompletes category.

By that I mean they get going, get so far and get stuck or abandoned.

The more of these incompletes that you have, the more likely it is that people will become disillusioned with efforts to make change.

They may just disengage completely.

For that reason there’s a simple but important question to ask when considering a change.

The simple question is Why?

Now you might be wondering about the reasons for asking this simple question.

Ultimately it’s about ensuring there is a big enough case for change.

If you ask yourself why you are considering change and can’t come up with a pretty long list of reasons why the current situation is untenable, you might need to go back to the drawing board.

It’s also important to ask the why question in terms of different contexts.

A one dimensional view is not going to help you to get the buy-in and support of the many different groups you will need to make it a reality.

You could, for example look at the why from a:

  • Financial perspective
  • Customer, client or service user perspective
  • Employee perspective
  • Operational perspective
  • Sales perspective
  • Marketing perspective

Within each of these (or the perspectives that are right for your organisation), you can say why is this changed needed. 

If you are struggling to come up with 3 good reasons under each of perspectives the case may not be as compelling as you first thought.

And of course you always have to factor in an element of what’s called intuition or gut feel.

The Bottom Line:  Always remember that there are often many incompletes when it comes to change.  Taking the time to ask why the change is needed can help avoid wasted resource, energy and reduce the risk of disengaging people.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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